Birdz of a Feather News

Birdz of a Feather is all aflutter! We’re excited to share that we’ve been nominated for an Amara Award in the Best DIY & Home Improvement (International) category. Voting opens today (August 15th) at 5:00 am and goes until September 19th.

This year one of the blog award sponsors, Leica, will be giving away a SOFORT instant camera to one lucky voter. So show us some ❤ by casting a vote! Your vote will help get us to the shortlist 🙂

Birdz of a Feather nominated for Amara award

We’ll resume our usual blogging schedule as soon as we’ve flown down from cloud nine. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this little tease:

Up ahead is a makeover of this curbside find. Think about how we might upcycle it, then stay tuned to see if you were right! All I’ll divulge now is that you’ve likely never seen a tutorial for it 🙂

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Front Paver Walkway Makeover

I had yet to install a paver walkway, despite owning and renovating two houses before this one. Hubs came into the picture shortly after I bought this house so it was great timing for me; maybe not so much for him! Faced with rows of underwhelming builder slabs that the previous owner lived with for over 20 years, the perfect opportunity presented itself for both of us to learn a new skillset!

Here’s an idea of how the walkway looked before (but you’ll have to imagine it without the pond because we installed that ourselves)!

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Repurpose Your Bathroom Fixtures in the Garden!

They say that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, but I wonder if that holds true when items you would typically find in those spaces are used outside! Why not repurpose your bathroom fixtures in the garden?

We had a blank section of fencing at the entry to our backyard that needed a little somethin’ somethin’. Last August when we stumbled upon a garage sale, I decided that the somethin’ was going to be a bathroom light fixture!

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Faux Barn Board Phone Booth Shelf

Try saying the title 3 times fast; it’s a tongue twister! Reclaimed wood in our area costs a fortune so we worked hard to develop a DIY technique for faux barn board that was just as beautiful but a fraction of the price.

Remember this phone booth that we picked up at the Aberfoyle Antique Market? We’re back with another version!

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Milk Paint Hack

We’ve done several milk paint projects lately – and there are more to come – so in this post I’m demonstrating a great little hack I developed. Traditional milk paint comes in a powder form that has to be mixed with water. I’ll show you how to mix milk paint fast and efficiently using none other than two items from the kitchen: a milk frother and a coffee filter!

If you’ve ever had to mix only a small amount of milk paint – or you’re using it as a watered-down stain – you’ll know that mixing it can be a challenge. For a project I just completed, both of those conditions were met: I literally only needed to mix a few tablespoons of milk paint to stain a few boards. It’s not possible to use a blender, as I normally would for large projects, because there isn’t enough liquid volume to come into contact with the blade and mix it properly. Hand mixing is slow and stubborn lumps can prevent a smooth mixture.

To resolve those problems, give my mixing hack a try. It’s fast, clean up is a breeze and it’s splatter proof!

For the next two steps, you’ll need milk paint powder, a coffee filter, milk frother, water, a mixing cup (preferably clear), a mixing spoon, a paint brush and a wooden craft stick. Continue reading

‘Partners in Grime’ Planter – Snazz up Metal & Terra Cotta with Milk Paint!

I feel like we’ve come a long way since my husband first raised his eyebrows when he helped me replace all the ‘perfectly good’ door knobs in my house soon after we met. The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks! It wasn’t until he agreed to help me install a little pond beside the front walkway that I realized he really was a DIY wannabe. Little did he know what I had in store for him after we wed! Although we’ve only been documenting our DIY pursuits on Birdz of a Feather for a few short years, since tying the knot he’s become my one and only ‘partner in grime’. We really do enjoy DIY’ing together.

When I came across this galvanized planter set at a garage sale for only $1, I had an idea to create something that was inspired by hubs.

In a previous post, we showed you how to get milk paint to stick to anything! I used a bonding agent to paint right over a lacquered finish on a mini adirondack chair (which you’ll see later). I was curious to see if milk paint + bonder would stick just as well to other surfaces, such as metal and terra cotta.

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If it’s Spring, it Must be Antiquing Time!

I look forward to Spring for so many reasons but when antiquing season opens up, we’re so there! A few weeks ago, we were at our favourite antique market in Aberfoyle, Ontario. Today we’re showing you some interesting finds that we’ll be making over and featuring on Birdz of a Feather in the near future (we’ll also show you what we’ve done with a few past finds).

The first thing I came across was this old clock. I had made over a very similar one when hubs and I were on an HGTV show called Trash to Treasure soon after we met! I always thought that if I came across another one that I’d buy and make it over for our own house so this buy was a no-brainer for me 🙂

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Solid Fence Screen

You know the proverb: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!  Well, our house in the burbs has a wooden fence that surrounds it. It’s great that it defines the boundaries, but it’s not so great for privacy. As you can see by the picture below, we have a distracting view of our neighbour’s pool in the back yard. No grass – just a cool, refreshing, inviting pool that we don’t have access to 🙂 As if the sightline isn’t bad enough, noise transference is an issue too.

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How to Get Milk Paint to Stick to Anything!

I always avoid indoor paint projects because of the fumes. Even with low VOC paint, I don’t want to pollute what precious indoor air quality I have in my basement craft studio – especially in the winter months when I can’t even crack a window open. Did you know that there are no VOCs in milk paint? Because it’s truly non-toxic, I get to keep every brain cell so I can keep dreaming up new projects!

When I found out that you could add a bonding agent to make milk paint stick to challenging things like glass, metal and varnished items, that was the icing on the cake.  Homestead House was kind enough to send us some milk paint and bonding agent to experiment with when I expressed an interest so when I spied this cute little varnished adirondack chair at Value Village, I knew I had my first test subject to try out!

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